VADition co-founder Neil Ledger will become a sparingly used "star player" at Exclusive Networks as he steps back from day-to-day involvement in the business.
Ledger (pictured) is moving upstairs to become a non-executive director at the pan-European distributor as he relinquishes the chief operating officer role he took on last June.
The COO post will now be filled by another VADition alumni, Barrie Desmond, who was previously vice president of marketing and business development.
Desmond stressed that Ledger will remain involved with the business at a strategic level, likening his new role to that of a star football player who is rested for the less important games.
"We now have two star players, [chief executive] Olivier [Breittmayer] and Neil," Desmond said.
"Neil's role is not going to be a heavy-touch position. But when we have a bigger game – a Cup Final or Champions League tie – bang, he's back in the team."
Desmond is charged with ensuring Exclusive continues to hit its annual organic growth target of 20 per cent in his new role as COO, which he has been shadowing for the past six months.
"My role is to look after the day-to-day running of the business, outperform the market and deliver on our organic growth strategy," Desmond said.
"Someone asked me how I felt about it. I said I didn't know – I've just inherited a €600m sales target."
Breittmayer, meanwhile, will continue to focus on Exclusive's M&A strategy, not only identifying and negotiating deals but ensuring acquisitions are integrated smoothly.
"Most acquisitions fail through indigestion, not consumption. Olivier is like our Gaviscon," Desmond explained.
Ledger's move to a less hands-on role comes three years after he and business partner Ian Morris sold VADition to Exclusive Networks in 2011. During a 30-year career, Ledger has also built up and sold two other VADs in the form of equIP and Data Connectivity. Morris is now working for Exclusive on a consultative basis only, Desmond said.
Desmond (pictured, right) hailed Ledger's track record at Exclusive as COO and, before that, UK managing director. "When VADition was acquired it was doing €40m and he drove it to be our first €100m business unit," Desmond said. "They then asked him to replicate that on an international basis – who better to do that than the master who has done it successfully three and a half times?"
With Desmond moving up, Exclusive has begun the search for a new vice president of marketing and business development.
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